Thursday, April 30, 2015

Jesus’ Full Revelation!

Then the high priest stood up before the others and asked Jesus, “Well, aren’t You going to answer these charges? What do You have to say for Yourself?” But Jesus was silent and made no reply. Then the high priest asked Him, “Are You the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?” Jesus said, “I AM. And you will see the Son of Man seated in the place of power at God’s right hand and coming on the clouds of heaven.” . . . Very early in the morning the leading priests, the elders, and the teachers of religious law — the entire high council — met to discuss their next step. They bound Jesus, led Him away, and took Him to Pilate, the Roman governor. Pilate asked Jesus, “Are You the King of the Jews?” Jesus replied, “You have said it.” Mark 14:60-62, 15:1-2 (NLT)

Jesus’ full revelation of His true identity comes at His trial before the Jewish high council (also called the Sanhedrin) and Pontius Pilate (the Roman governor). At His trial, Jesus declared openly that He is the “I AM,” the “Messiah,” “the Son of God,” the “Son of Man,” the coming Judge, and the “King of the Jews” (Matthew 26:62-64; Matthew 27:11; Mark 14:60-62, Mark 15:1-2; Luke 22:66-71; Luke 23:1-3; John 18:33-37).

At the very beginning of Mark’s Gospel, Mark declared Jesus was the Messiah and the Son of God (Mark 1:1). Jesus’ declaration as the Messiah and the Son of God was already acknowledged by the demons and unclean spirits (Mark 1:24; Mark 3:11; Mark 5:7), by God the Father (Mark 1:11; Mark 9:7), and by Jesus’ disciples (Mark 8:29-30). Until the question of the high priest, Jesus had repeatedly silenced all announcements as the Son of God and the Messiah. But at His trial, Jesus’ veil is removed and the secrecy of Jesus’ identity was disclosed in light of His coming suffering on the Cross. Jesus for the first time openly and publicly acknowledged that He was indeed the “I AM,” the “Messiah,” “the Son of God,” the “Son of Man,” the coming Judge, and the “King of the Jews” (Luke 22:66-71). The “I AM” means Jesus is Lord (Mark 14:62; see also Exodus 3:14). Jesus identified Himself with God by using a familiar title for God found in the Old Testament: “I AM” (see Exodus 3:14). The high priest recognized Jesus' claim as God and immediately accused Him of blasphemy (Mark 14:63-64). For any other human this revelation of divinity would have been blasphemy, but in this case Jesus’ revelation was true.  Jesus is God and that faith in Him brings everlasting life and forgiveness of sins (John 3:36; John 20:31; 2 Corinthians 5:21). Furthermore, Jesus revealed He is the Messiah and a King. He was not a political or military figure, the kind Rome would be anxious to eliminate but the Suffering Servant to bear the sins of humanity (see Isaiah 52:13–53:12). Moreover, Jesus revealed that He would sit in the place of power at God’s right hand or literally “at the right hand of the Power” (Mark 14:62; see also Psalm 110:1). Thus, Jesus’ revelation predicted His resurrection and ascension to heaven (Luke 24:50-51; Acts 1:9-11; see Philippians 2:9; Hebrews 1:3) and His triumphal coming on the clouds of heaven (see Daniel 7:13-14) to judge the world. At Jesus’ second return from heaven, roles will be reversed, and those judging Jesus as the Son of Man will be judged by Him. Jesus assured His judges that He was also the coming Judge of all humankind.

At daybreak all the elders of the people assembled, including the leading priests and the teachers of religious law. Jesus was led before this high council, and they said, “Tell us, are You the Messiah?” But He replied, “If I tell you, you will not believe Me. And if I ask you a question, you will not answer. But from now on the Son of Man will be seated in the place of power at God’s right hand.” They (religious leaders) all shouted, “So, are You claiming to be the Son of God?” And He replied, “You say that I AM.” “Why do we need other witnesses?” they said. “We ourselves heard Him say it.” Luke 22:66-71 (NLT)

Only Luke’s Gospel records the direct question in Luke 22:70. The religious leaders asked Jesus, “So, are You claiming to be the Son of God?” And Jesus replied, “You say that I AM” (Luke 22:70, NLT).  Jesus’ direct answer, which literally was: “You say that I AM.” The reaction to Jesus’ reply makes clear that His answer was a strong affirmation that He was the Messiah (Christ), the Son of Man, and the Son of God (Luke 22:66-71; Luke 23:1-3). Some theologians argue that Jesus never claimed to be God. In Luke’s Gospel, Jesus in effect agreed that He was the Son of God when He simply turned the high priest's question around by saying, “You are right in saying I AM” (Luke 22:70). The Jewish religious leaders knew what Jesus was talking about, and this is why they condemned Him for blasphemy. (Matthew 26:66; Mark 14:64). Yet, the religious leaders were sure Jesus’ revelations were false and that He was guilty of blasphemy, and the penalty for blasphemy was death (Leviticus 24:10-16).

Then the high priest stood up and said to Jesus, “Are You not going to answer? What is this testimony that these men are bringing against You?” But Jesus remained silent. The high priest said to Him, “I charge You under oath by the living God: Tell us if You are the Christ, the Son of God.” “Yes, it is as you say,” Jesus replied. “But I say to all of you: In the future you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.” Matthew 26:62-64 (NIV)

In Matthew’s Gospel, when the high Priest stood up and demanded Jesus to tell the Jewish religious leaders whether He is “the Messiah, the Son of God” (Matthew 26:63 TLB). Jesus said, “Yes, it is as you say” (Matthew 26:64 NIV). In essence, Jesus positively affirmed to the religious leaders He is the Messiah (Christ) and the Son of God (Matthew 26:64). Then, Jesus goes on to say, “In the future you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven” (Matthew 26:64 NIV; see also Psalm 110 and Daniel 7:13).

During His revelation, Jesus called Himself “Son of Man.” “Son of Man” is a Messianic title found in Daniel 7:13-14. By quoting Daniel 7:13-14, Jesus affirmed that He was the majestic Son of Man who would be justified and exalted by God. The term coming on the clouds of heaven (Matthew 26:64) could refer either to the coming destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70 or to Jesus’ second coming at the end of history. Jesus also revealed He has the right to sit “on the right hand of the power of God” (Luke 22:69), a clear reference to Psalm 110:1, another Messianic passage. At “God’s right hand” means Jesus is at the right hand of the Power (see Psalm 110:1). Jesus saw beyond the sufferings of the Cross to the glories of God’s throne (see Philippians 2:1-11; Hebrews 12:2). That Jesus is seated at the right hand of the God is a truth that is often repeated in the New Testament (e.g., see Hebrews 1:3; Hebrews 8:1; Hebrews 10:12; Hebrews 12:2; 1 Peter 3:22; Acts 2:33; Acts 5:31; Acts 7:55-56; Romans 8:34; Ephesians 1:20; Colossians 3:1). This is the place of honor, authority, and power; and by claiming this honor, Jesus was claiming to be God. Remarkably, Jesus’ sacrificial death and resurrection confirmed Him as the Son of God and Messiah sent from God the Father (Mark 15:39; Romans 1:4; Philippians 2:9-11).

Interestingly during His revelation, Jesus never confessed to being a Prophet. Jesus is described by many titles in the Holy Scriptures: Son of God (Mark 1:1; Mark 15:39), Messiah (Christ) (Mark 8:29-30; John 20:31), God (Isaiah 40:3; John 1:1-5, 14; Colossians 2:9), Lord (Romans 10:9), Prophet (Matthew 21:11; John 7:40; see also Deuteronomy 18:15), Rabbi or Teacher (John 3:2); Son of David (Matthew 1:1; Matthew 9:27); Second Adam or Last Adam (Romans 5:12-21; 1 Corinthians 15:21-22, 45-49) and King of the Jews (Matthew 27:37). Indeed, Jesus was the Prophet that Moses predicted at Deuteronomy 18:15. As a Prophet, Jesus preached God’s word and performed miracles like those of the great Old Testament prophets (e.g., see Matthew 13:57; Luke 7:16; Luke 24:19; John 6:14). (NLT). Just as the revelation that Jesus is the “I AM,” the “Messiah,” “the Son of God,” the “Son of Man,” the coming Judge, and the “King of the Jews”, so Jesus’ role as Prophet confirmed that His authoritative words are the authentic word of God, which must be heard and obeyed. (NLT)

The disciples saw Jesus do many other miraculous signs in addition to the ones recorded in this book (Gospel of John). But these are written so that you may continue to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing in Him you will have life by the power of His Name. John 20:30-31 (NLT)

Then Peter stepped forward . . . and shouted to the crowd, “Listen carefully, all of you, fellow Jews and residents of Jerusalem! . . . God raised Jesus from the dead, and we are all witnesses of this. Now He is exalted to the place of highest honor in heaven, at God’s right hand. . . . So let everyone in Israel know for certain that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, to be both Lord and Messiah!” Acts 2:14, 32-33, 36 (NLT)

Life Application Study Bible (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Pub., 2005).
NLT Study Bible (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Pub., 2008).
Ryrie Study Bible (Chicago, IL: Moody, 1995).
Zondervan NIV Study Bible (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2008).
Edwards, James R. The Gospel According to Mark (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2002).
Loyd, Melton, Ph.D., Professor of New Testament. Due West Campus: Erskine Theological Seminary, 2015.
Wiersbe, Warren W. Bible Exposition Commentary (Victor Books, 1989).

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